CHDM wa­ter cri­sis deep­ens

Some towns dry for three weeks

The Rep - - NEWS - ANDISA BONANI

The Chris Hani District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity (CHDM) has been bat­tling a dev­as­tat­ing drought ever since reser­voirs dropped down to less than 20% of their ca­pac­ity.

Daily Dis­patch re­ported that CHDM spokes­woman Thobeka Mqamelo said the state would in­ject R87.3m into drought re­lief mea­sures for the north of Eastern Cape.

“An im­ple­men­ta­tion plan on how the funds will be utilised was drafted by the de­part­ment of wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion (DWS) and CHDM coun­cil and work is now un­der way. The plan fo­cuses on the worst-af­fected ar­eas. The money pumped in by DWS will be spent on bore­holes, pumps, wa­ter cartage and tanks.”

Sev­eral ar­eas in Ko­mani and other towns un­der CHDM have been hard-hit hard by the drought which has left the area of Zola and Green­fields in Tarkas­tad with­out wa­ter for more than three weeks.

Parts of Ez­i­be­leni, Con­naught Av­enue, Blue Rise, and Vic­to­ria Park did not have wa­ter on Mon­day.

DA coun­cil­lor in Tarkas­tad Carol Boast said the sit­u­a­tion in Zola and Green­fields had de­vel­oped be­cause the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had failed to pro­vide a so­lu­tion to en­sure wa­ter pro­vi­sion.

“Res­i­dents had to go to other ar­eas to fetch wa­ter in buck­ets – some­thing CHDM should have pro­vided for them, be­cause in other ar­eas, when there is a wa­ter is­sue they send trucks to de­liver it. I even had a res­i­dent col­lect wa­ter at my house on Christ­mas Day be­cause they needed to cook,” Boast said.

Ez­i­be­leni res­i­dent Than­deka Batyi said there were reg­u­lar wa­ter out­ages sched­uled by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, but the CHDM did not stick to its sched­ule.

“The mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­cently in­stalled wa­ter tanks in sev­eral ar­eas and when there is no wa­ter, res­i­dents use the wa­ter in tanks for laun­dry and other less ur­gent ac­tiv­i­ties which I think is un­fair. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity also does not check reg­u­larly if the tanks have wa­ter so some­times we sit with dry tanks and taps.”

Mqamelo said the wa­ter tanks in Ez­i­be­leni were meant to be an in­ter­ven­tion when there was no wa­ter sup­ply to the area and would be filled as and when the need arose.

“The ward coun­cil­lor in­ter­acts with our of­fice when the need arises and the tanks were last filled this past week­end. Be­cause of the pre­vail­ing wa­ter short­age, our reser­voirs barely reach 20% of wa­ter level due to high de­mand. The sit­u­a­tion is wors­ened by the fact that there is far less raw wa­ter com­ing through to the plant.

Mqamelo said Zola Town­ship re­lied on bore­holes for wa­ter and that last week’s thun­der­storms af­fected power links, caus­ing two bore­holes to stop work­ing, and that caused in­ter­rup­tions.

“Eskom has since re­solved this is­sue and pump­ing is in progress. The house­holds will only be­gin to see the dif­fer­ence from Wed­nes­day as the reser­voir was empty.”

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